Monday, November 22, 2004

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

So I started holiday shopping for the kids yesterday.

AAA had some sort of special event where they closed Toys R Us to members only
so you can shop without the crazy crowds.

We walk in and not ten minutes into the whole maddening event, a kid runs
towards me with a bloody tissue over his nose. He weaves to the right. I weave
to the right. He weaves to the left. I weave to the left. Ten seconds later I
hear a woman go, "Again! What's up with the bloody noses?"

This year we have 3 girls and 2 boys to buy toys for. All others get moola.
It makes life that much easier for me. (Especially since, I'm torturing myself
with my ambitious cookie feats. I'll tell you later.)

L:"Well, lead the way, woman."

pg: "What do you mean me? I don't have kids. How the hell am I supposed to know
what they want. Besides, these are your cousins. My cousins in their right
mind live in other states."

L:"This is supposed to be fun. Don't start."

pg:"I'm not."

L:"This is starting."

pg:"No I'm not. In fact, you started."


pg:"See what? Don't put you hand up at me. Can I talk? Can I talk? Ok.
I didn't start this."

L:"All I'm saying is that you have the list. So I'm going to follow you."

pg:"What? Whatever. Just remember, 7,8,9,11. Ok?"

L:"Where to?"

pg:"Ooh! Incredibles!"

[BTW, all arguments b/w Lrudlrick and myself consist of:

  • The talk to the hand

  • Can I talk?

  • I've let you talk. Can I talk?

  • Don't start.

  • I'm not. You started.]

Twenty minutes ater, I've lost Lrudlrick.

We sort of have 1 gift (a backup gift) out of 5 and I've lost my husband
in the toy store.

Figuring he'll find his way to the electronics, I stand by the electronics
section flipping through the catalog for inspiration.

That's when I felt old. Seriously old. I had no clue what kid would like what.
I also felt a tinge of sexism. I found it easier to pick ideas for the boy kids
easier than the girl kids. If we decide to have kids and they are girls, I'm
in serious trouble.

Sure enough Lrudlrick makes his way to the electronic section with his arms loaded.
I'm excited until I realize that he's got all boy toys and essentially they are
for himself.

He shows me a crazy loopy race track thingy with crashing cars that spin out
of control. He suggests this for the 8 year old with a natural caffeine supply.
"That looks really noisy and potentially super hyperactive."

We double back to the track toys and find a cool pack and go glow in the dark
race track that doesn't look like it would be too loud or too hyperactive.
Then I tell Hubby we seriously need to focus on the girls.

"The boys just are easier."

Tell me about it. Then the thoughts of inadequacy as a parent crawl in again.

"Ok, before we go to pink and lacy land, let's get you the spy toy you wanted."

We head to the spy gear place and pick up those listening device thingies. Ok,
you know how Monica and Rachel had ugly naked guy across the way from their window?
Well, we have topless fat man by us. I give him credit though. Like clockwork,
every Tuesday and Thursday evenings he's peddling his heart out on the stationary
bike while I sit on my ass eating Chinese while watching 24 or Law and Order.
Anyway, hubby thinks that he can use the listening device to hear topless fat man.
Why? I have no idea.

We head to the girl section and aside from Lrudlrick glazing over and my culture
shock, we looked like we fit right in. So much so that a saleslady who looked 16
came over and asked if I needed help. Yes, for god's sake. Help me!

She tells me anything with Bratz on them are a big hit. Of course, she doesn't
tell you that Bratz is 6 aisles of big headed dolls with matching accessories.
Then she mentions electronic laptops are big now. "Barbie has three new ones out.
I think they are about $25.00 each."

Peeking both my husband and my interest we shuttle our butts to electronics.
I'm guess by this 16 year old's math skills, her school is in need of business
mathematics classes (yes, my school had such a class). $25.00 looks like $36.00
on the butt ugly orange sticker.

"We've got to hurry up. It's 8pm!"

Thanks Mr. Been-Gone-for-20-minutes-and-all-I-got-is-a-remote-control-car-and-

Determined to leave with the 5 gifts I planned to purchase, I run quickly to my
safe place, the crafts aisles. I pick up make your own makeup kits and a knitting
machine for the girls. Nothing says, keep the kids entertained after Christmas
dinner more than make your own whatchamacallit.

Two kids down. I send my husband to the electronics software section to pick up
something for his brainiac sister and I run to baby land to pick up something for
a 6 month old. (If he glazed over in girl land, I could only imagine what he'd
do in babyland.)

I run to the electronics section and he seems lost, for the first time.

"I don't know what to get her."

I find a "My First Digital Camera" and we book to the nearest short line.

So I'm standing on line and I rummage through the circular to find the $10.00
gift card coupon. I start to run for the door to grab a new circular when I
turn around and Lrudlrick has run off leaving the cart unattended on line as if
it would naturally move forward and start unloading itself.

Good grief. He's run off to check out more toys.

Seriously, I need to buy one of the those velcro harnesses that kids wear these days
to keep tabs of him.

Oh, and he doesn't understand why the bill came up to $200 when my Christmas list budget only totals $120 for the kid toys. Hmmmmmm.....

On a side note, why is it that every frickin' toy has to have either 1 battery or
3 batteries? It's never 2 or 4. It's like frickin' hot dogs and buns.